Fat is the New Thin

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by Joe Buonfiglio

For the purposes of this post, it is vitally important that you understand the following:

I am a fat guy.

Well, that’s not entirely accurate.  I should have stated that I am currently a fat guy.  Overall, I’d be more aptly described as what is best labeled as an “expanding man.”  Sometimes you’ll meet me and I’ll seem “normal,” even healthy and somewhat good-looking (if I do say so myself).  Other times, I’m a morbidly obese fat fuck.  There’s just no denying it.

Sometimes I’m “gym guy”; sometimes I’m the freakin’ Hindenburg.  See?  “The Incredible Expanding Man.”

My bouts with “The Black Wave” (depression) and OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) have a hell of a lot to do with which body type I am at any given moment.

Also, geography.

For some reason — and, quite frankly, I have yet to figure out why — where I reside and apply the craft of my chosen trade seems to have a lot to do with how corpulent I am at that point in my chronological being.

For example, when I was in Hawaii, it was a case of “Holy Fuck!  We’re going to have to bury him in a grand-piano case!  Keep him away from the pig pit and the poi, for Christ’s sake!  There won’t be anything left for the other luau guests except for the leis we gave them when they walked in the d—  Nope, he’s eating those, too.”

In Alaska, however, it was more like “Damn, look at this guy.  He can share my igloo anytime.  He’s so hot that if he doesn’t head back to the ‘50 contiguous’ soon, he’ll melt the glaciers.” … … … Okay, that’s a bit of hyperbole.  The point is that I was looking halfway decent then.  At least I could hike a mountain trail without getting winded just walking to the bathroom in the tourist center at the bottom of the hill.

Now, for some reason, Los Angeles was a bit of a conundrum in the encumbrance d’ waistline department.  When I lived in LA, I experienced both extremes of the obesity coin: Orson Welles toward the end; runway model on a liquid diet.  Go figure.  I guess LA is a special place of emotional highs and lows.  It’s also a lot easier to secure your own, personal Dr. Feelgood and his magic pills than in, let’s say, the Deep South of the USA.  (Take from that what you will.)

You can always tell what State of Fatness my physique is currently taking on based on how my mother-in-law refers to me.  If I’m that “rat bastard,” then I might be acting like a prick, but I’m looking pretty good.  But if I’m that “fat bastard,” I should probably be hitting the local salad bar a lot more than my favorite sports bar on all-you-can-eat potato skins and Buffalo wings night.

But damn, can you really blame me for bulking up?  Is there anything better than a plate of hot wings, bleu-cheese dip and an ice-cold beer in front of a big screen running the game you’ve been waiting to see all week?  Seriously, sex with that celebrity you’ve been stalking for the last six months would probably only run a close second.

Unfortunately, since I moved to the Carolinas a few years back, I haven’t heard “rat” before “bastard” in a while.  The bad news is I can’t seem to stay away from the “bacon double-cheeseburger and Guinness stout” special every pub around here tends to run on almost a nightly basis.  The good news here in America is that I can now feel completely comfortable to “expand” all I want; I’m in good company walking amongst my Fat Fuck brethren.  Because just like orange is the new black, fat is the new thin.

Now, don’t think just anyone can go around dishing out the fat jokes, my friend.  You have to dive into a few triple-shakes at the fried-food diner of life before you get to go there.  Just like you really need to be a black guy or gal to get away with slinging the “N-word’ around without coming off like a total racist asshole; you really have to be a full-fledged member of the Waistline-Challenged Society to get away with fat jokes without coming off like an obscenely mean-spirited prick.

But with that qualifier shoved into the back pocket of your so-tight jeans, I invite you to come join us: the once few (but now many); the (who the hell knows why, but strangely we are) proud; the ones who won’t hesitate to sit on the bench weeping beneath our bulk as we slam back another extra-cheese burrito outside of the Jenny Craig Center meeting.  Put away those diet shakes that taste as if a camel pissed into a malted.  Stop having them ship in those meals that cost more than an ivy-league college education.  Put down the self-help “Models’ Miso Soup and Vodka Diet” book.  I’m here for you now; your official CEG (Chubby Evangelical-Guru).  Repeat the mantra…

THIN IS OUT.  FAT IS IN.

“You’ve lost your mind,” you say?  “It’ll kill me if I listen to your crazy crap,” you declare?  “Holy shit!  How the fuck did you get in my bedroom?!” you exclaim in a panic as you dial 911?

Okay.  Well.  Let’s just list all the wonderful fat people out there who are happy, healthy, successful and well-respected, shall we?

1. ORSON WELLES. The aforementioned cinematic legend and undeniable auteur, this cult-of-personality superstar of filmmaking— No.  Wait.  He’s dead.

2. LUCIANO PAVAROTTI. Arguably one of opera’s greatest stars, this tenor extraordinaire helped bring opera into the living room of the “common man” with his incredible— No.  Hold it.  He’s dead, too.

Okay, then how about…

3. JOHN CANDY. This beloved comedian and actor was a favorite among— Oops.  He’s kicked the proverbial bucket, also.

4. CHRIS FARLEY. No.

5. PATRICE O’NEAL. That guy made me laugh my ass off when he— Sorry.  He’s gone, too.

6. SANTA CLAUS. Who has brought more joy to— No, wait.  He’s a mythical character.  You can’t count him.

7. DOM DELUISE. I remember sitting in a Pacific Palisades trattoria watching him chow down at its all-you-can-eat lobster night with his— My bad.  Dead-o, too.

8. ELVIS PRESLEY. Died a fatty on a toilet seat, I think.

All right, screw the list. How about my favorite actor in the world from the hit show The Sopranosthe one, the only, the incomparable…

JAMES GANDOLFINI

What?  In 2013?  Son of a bitch!

Okay, then what about—  Dead.  How about— Fucking heart attack.  Dead.  No.  No.  Stroke.  Gone.  Hell no; she died in her bed choking on a fucking hoagie.  No.  No.  Dead.  How about—  No, diabetes took them both in the end….

That’s it.  I cry uncle on this one.  I’m starting my diet … ANOTHER GODDAMN DIET … today! … Tonight…. … Tomorrow…. … …  By the end of the month, I promise.  Although, of course, Halloween candy doesn’t count … or Thanksgiving dinner … and the holidays aren’t the holidays without Christmas cookies, right?  And…

Oh fuck you, you skinny bitch!  You try living with this genetic coding!

I’m outta here.  Just bring me four Bloody Marys and three of those hospital-cafeteria sandwiches you dare to market as “real” food, but for which I’ll pay your in-flight extortion rates to own simply because I didn’t have time to buy something better in the airport before boarding…. … … NO, I DON’T WANT A FUCKING SEATBELT-EXTENDER!

© 2014 Joseph P. Buonfiglio                All Rights Reserved.

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